Current Oil Price Changes Slightly

The current oil price changed slightly while the cost of natural gas remained the same after ending over $4 for the first time in 18 months.

On the NYMEX, the U.S. benchmark for delivery in May was 12 cents higher to a crude price per barrel of $96.70. Oil has moved above $4 in less than one week, boosted by indications of improvement in the economy of the United States.

The price of natural gas remained steady. It ended above $4 during the previous trading day at $4.07 per thousand cubic feet, a first since September 14, 2011.

There are indications that the United States is recovering from the supply glut that occurred over the past several years and propelled the prices of natural gas downward to their lowest levels in a decade. The recently released data of the Energy Department showed that supplies are still down by around 27 percent versus last year, even though they are still up by almost 4 percent compared to an average of the past five years.

The crude market was covered by a warning as banks in Cyprus reopened for the first time since the 16th of March. The banks were closed as political leaders conferred and negotiated an emergency bailout to stop the collapse of the country’s banking industry.

The controversial deal will cause losses to huge depositors, which several analysts said may ignite a confidence problem in the banking industry across the 17 nations that utilize the euro.

There were no reports of disturbances as people around Cyprus formed lengthy – yet orderly – lines at banks and ATMs.

On London’s ICE Futures Exchange, Brent was 31 cents lower at $109.38 per barrel.

In other NYMEX trading, wholesale gasoline moved 1 cent lower to $3.10 per gallon. The price of heating oil stayed the same at $3.04 per gallon.